Star Wars.

Can you remember, back in 2015, when everyone was so excited for Star Wars Episode VII to come out? Can you remember the weeks and weeks (or was it months and months [or years and years?]) of anticipation building up to it? The killer wonder wondering what this movie would be? The disbelief that we stood at the precipice of a Star Wars story? Man, I do. All that waiting, and then, like a kitten sneaking into the kitchen, suddenly it was December 18th. You go to work all day, just like any work day, but around 3 o clock you stop being able to think about anything besides: "It's Star Wars tonight. It's Star Wars tonight." And then the workday ends and it's Star Wars time.

But people gotta eat even if a Star Wars is coming, so I met Jeff and Chaunte at Otto's because it has a Tatooine mural. And because those tacos aren't so bad there.

Look at this smile! This is my most authentic smile, my Star Wars smile.

We cabbed down to Chelsea where we had reserved seats, what a rare New York thing. The theater was full of such joy. Restrained nerdiness at my showing, but man, everyone was so happy. Mom asked me to take my picture before the movie, so here I am, about to see Star Wars. I've got that quiet but electric anticipation at this point.

And here's my after picture.

Scary, right?

These are my Ep VII buddies, Chaunte, Jeff and Alexis. I went home and just stayed up all night thinking about Star Wars and texting my brothers about Star Wars and emailing Collin about Star Wars and reading about Star Wars. What else could a person do?

I had a ticket to see it again on Saturday, but I had thought so much about Star Wars between Thursday night and then I wasn't sure if my head and my heart would be able to take watching it again. 

Fortunately I got to ease into my Saturday by grabbing lunch with Viviana first. We went to this popular new place called Upland to try their popular cheeseburger. A big, fancy In n Out burger with avocado and peppers on it. I can see why it's popular.

And then  it was back over to Chelsea for Star Wars viewing #2. Doesn't hurt that that theater is next door to the Donut Plant.

After watching it a second time I was just so ticked about two things. First I hate that Han goes out on that bridge, my heart hammers in my chest every time and I think it always will. Second, this second time I was just so cheesed that there as a third Death Star in it and that the ending action is them trying to blow it up. I like so much about the movie, but those two things really were really stickin in my craw. I knew I'd need a few days before I saw Star Wars again.

Three days later, I fly home to Chicago.

Mom picks me up and we go straight to Johnnie's for lunch. A little while later, I go to the dentist. And then we eat ribs with Dad.

The inside of Johnnie's feels like a place where you're not supposed to take pictures.

Oh I thought I had a picture of eating ribs but I guess I didn't.

Anyway I bet you can guess what we did after eating ribs? Yup, we went and saw Star Wars. Just me and Mom and Dad, like how it was when they took me to Empire Strikes back in '80. 

Listen, if you saw The Force Awakens twice and the second time you felt bugged, you should see it a third time. You will feel MUCH BETTER and really love it again. You will still hate that Han goes out on that bridge, but you will love everything else even more (like Kylo beating on his wound during that fight or Chewie having so many scene-stealing moments or how great the new characters are or how great the old characters are).

Episode VII. Now that it's been here, I just don't think I'll ever be so excited for a movie again. I mean it'll be great May 2017 when Episode VIII gets here, but nothing will match the 32 year build up for this movie. I think I can now be chill about other movies, too. Batman vs Superman? Civil War? Sound neat. Will be fun to see. 

Star Wars forever. Star Wars forever and ever and ever.